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BTSV: Jean-Claude Van Damme Does Epic Splits Between Two Semi Trucks

By Hanssie on November 14th 2013

What do you get when you put a 53 year-old action movie star from the 90’s, two semi trucks, and Enya together in one commercial? (Don’t worry, we were shaking our heads too before we took a peek at this awesome Volvo Truck ad).

In an effort to demonstrate the “stability and precision of Volvo Dynamic Steering,” Volvo came up with a pretty creative concept and story to illustrate a topic that, for most people, is kind of yawn-worthy. The ad is 6th in a series of stunt videos that Volvo has released to promote it’s truck. From hamster’s steering a 15 ton truck on a windy quarry to dangling their President from a crane 65 ft over a port, Volvo might have outdone themselves in this 6th “Live Test” video. In this video, Jean-Claude Van Damme is doing his signature splits while standing on the mirrors of two semi trucks, while the trucks drive. Backwards. And to make it even more epic, the entire thing is set to the tune of Enya’s “Only Time.”

[REWIND: Toyota Ad Uses Instagram Filters to Send Out Message, ‘Don’t Shoot and Drive’]

With only 15 minutes of morning light, the spot was shot in one take, after three days of rehearsing. The Volvo crew assures us that there are no wires or CG (computer graphics) – just their awesome trucks and a 53 year-old star that proves that he’s still a bad ass.

Here’s the behind the scenes video where they explain to Jean Claude what they want him to do. His face as he processes their concept, is almost as fantastic as the commercial itself.

The Volvo Live Test 6 already has 3.5 million views on Youtube and it was posted just this morning.  This just goes to show that a good concept + a creative story = viral marketing material. Oh, and Enya always helps.

Do ads like this sell product? Or is it just another buzzworthy gimmick?

[via @YouTube]


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Hanssie is a Southern California-based writer and sometimes portrait and wedding photographer. In her free time, she homeschools, works out, rescues dogs and works in marketing for SLR Lounge. She also blogs about her adventures and about fitness when she’s not sick of writing so much. Check out her work and her blog at Follow her on Instagram

Q&A Discussions

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  2. Van Damme Epic Splits

    I tend not to leave a great deal of comments, however i did a few searching and wound up here
    BTSV: Jean-Claude Van Damme Does Epic Splits Between Two Semi
    Trucks. And I do have a few questions for you if you do not mind.
    Is it only me or does it give the impression like some of these remarks look as
    if they are left by brain dead individuals? :-P And, if you are posting
    on other social sites, I would like to keep up with anything new you have
    to post. Would you list of the complete urls of all your shared sites like your Facebook page, twitter feed, or
    linkedin profile?

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  3. Vfx

    Cmon, guys!) its fake for sure! Van Damm is not an moron to do apotentially lethal stunt! Just too many things that can go wrong in this video rehersed in 3 days! More things happen eben in controlable environments on movie sets! And here the give this perfet smooth shot!)) I would assume it was done in CG with him either suspended on wires, or standing on the splitting mirrors against green as camera was moving around, then motion tracked and composited in) They would save HELL A LOT of money this way))

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  4. Sunny Kaura

    J.C. was the man back in the day, good to see him poking fun at himself and still getting paid. Volvo did it in this ad. Pretty funny if you knew what JCVD was all about in his cornball movies. Always did the friggin’ splits and up in mid air roundhouse kicks, and I’ve never seen anyone use the same pose for movie poster poses than this cheesy actor. Gotta say though JCVD was a great movie. anyone agree? … anyone, … bueller? … anyone?

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  5. SPFX guy

    Sorry, I don’t see how you myopic people can’t see it’s fake. Even at 2 mph the displacement of air by those two trucks would be ruffling his shirt. watch it again really closely.
    If you still think this isn’t done with green screen and Zuess/maya digital manipulation, I have some swampland in Florida for you to buy.

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  6. John Hopper

    Excellent! Dynamic Steering is amazing…K Brown, you’re a dick.

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  7. K Brown

    Let me just say… Fake. Fakity Fake. Fony Fake, Whata Fake….

    A BTS without a single shot of him actually “doing” this magnificent “fake” video.

    Too smooth, not even a bump in the road, a tiny creep by either driver, not a single readjustment by VD, nothing.

    Fake. Fakity Fake. Fony Fake. Whata Fake. Itsa Fake.

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    • Jules Cesar

      no, no, all that is real, no tricks, no photoshop. This is why it is amazing. They filmed that in the desert to have a perfectly flat road. The light is perfect, the music is perfect. The wording is stupid, unfortunately.

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